by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eros/Athena: Comprehending Desire and Why We Want to Know

 Pallas Athena by Franz von Stuck

Astrology is a mosaic of effects, which is why though it’s interesting and sometimes entirely worthwhile to zero in on a certain moment – an ingress, a retrograde, a transit to your personal chart – that one thing is really just a section of the picture, one flavor in a banquet of tastes, one moment in a day filled with events.

I’ve come to realize this more and more in writing this blog…which brings us to the subject(s) of the day: Eros entering Pisces at 6:03am (UT/+0) and Athena (as in Pallas Athena) entering Taurus at 4:15pm (UT/+0).

So what is Eros? The easy way to think of Eros is in terms of the word ‘erotic.’ But it’s more than that. Eros is desire…and that can be any kind of desire, not just sexual. The name and image is derived from He We Know As Cupid – and yes, when even barely scratched by one of Cupid’s arrows, the tale says we will fall madly and insatiably in love with the next person we meet.

(Which let’s face it – can be pretty inconvenient, not to mention impractical!)

But when we get to the astrological Eros, this can be any ‘itch’ we get for whatever it is we itchest for. Or  about. Or even (theoretically) from. So while we would expect to see Eros mixed in with a set of symbols denoting say, a marriage, it’s entirely possible that we could see Eros mixed up with some puzzle which just drives you bonkers. Or a rash which keeps you awake at night. Or even an addiction – the proverbial ‘monkey’ which you can’t get off your back.

It’s the preoccupation…or more exactly, the ability for something to preoccupy you and in doing so take precedence over other things which is so very Eros.

With this in mind, what is Eros doing? Answer, Eros is entering Pisces, land of emotional fantasies.

Do I hear a big ‘uh-oh’…?

That’s possible, certainly: Eros in Pisces – for some – will be a sign of all their ‘counter-balances’ and safety valves and normal tendencies to check their behavior being checked at the door…of one’s mind, anyway. And maybe otherwise!

 Asteroid Eros - photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Certainly with Pisces being a sign of emotional dualities, Eros in Pisces can say ‘Is this good? Is this too good to be true? Maybe I’m kidding myself…maybe this is no good at all!’

There is that popular Piscean sport of murmuring ‘later…later!’ while your eyes dance, transfixed by an image only you see.

Did I mention Pisces is the sign of intoxication? So it is…! Thus with Eros in Pisces, we are all polarized by our own ability to be ‘intoxicated’ by some belief, some ideal, some fantasy, some yearning….or repelled by something just as powerful. This is a potent time for those who have a creative mind…and problematic, even dangerous for those prone to delusions or ‘living on expectations’ which never last.

With Sisyphus having just gone into retrograde (we are still in the station zone for that…) we may be thinking we’re past the point where we’re going to get ‘caught’ – that we can ‘get away’ with something because we’re ‘in the know.’

More likely however, (considering this as a moment after Sisyphus goes retrograde) this may be simply a moment of interlude. Sisyphus (like Hybris), appears to not be a ‘once-and-over’ sort of point – and it’s the secondary manifestations which often prove our undoing.

Meanwhile, today is also when Athena moves into Taurus. Athena being a signature of wisdom, it would be sensible to ‘hold a good thought’ that Athena entering a sign all about self worth, values, abilities and resources means we will better recognize ourselves and what we can make of and with our own time on Earth. Humans have unfortunately, an incredibly long history of valuing ‘stuff’ and hedonistic pleasure over human life – and what seems remarkable is that we are as apt to ignore our own value (and life) almost as easily as the lives of others.

We are – as a species, notoriously short-sighted. That old expression those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it is not just about governments and the rise and fall of empires…it’s about human life. But do we listen? Naw…most of us just quote merrily and go skipping off to our next pleasure of the moment which we pay for in the end!

Both of these objects are classed as asteroids, telling us they represent things and qualities – considerations we will ‘meet up with’ at this time. Of the two, being that Athena is classed as a minor planet would seem to ask us to take greater notice of the value and purpose of what we do (or don’t do) rather than the pleasure, pain or effort involved.

Yet against this, Eros is a strong allure. Classed as an Amor Group asteroid, Eros orbits barely beyond Mars at its farthest from the Sun and cycles inward, representing how close our desires really are to us, to our reality how they get in our face and permeate our world.

There are a million issues to consider and several perspectives on each. Eros in Pisces against Athena in Taurus is an opportunity to realize what we’ve done against what we could do in all such dismal glory, in all such glorious possibility, in all possible gory reality.

 Eros in the guise of Cupid 'L'ingegno' 
by Giuseppe Maria Crespi (c. 1695-1700)

We’ve all felt so mortal in witnessing Japan’s huge disaster. Those who ‘cannot imagine’ what such an event must be like are free to be terrified by their imagination while those who face the reality merely deal with day-to-day survival. Long term, it is being ignored in desperate situations which seems to most often inflict the most damaging psychological effects and terrors inflicted by other humans (either purposefully or through lack of caring about us) which have the most traumatic effects.

But when we consider things like the nuclear containment problems on Honshu, we have to really ask ourselves how what human priorities are. Nuclear fission was developed as a weapon of war. It’s polarity counterpart (nuclear fusion) evidently has no great lethal potential.

Some things – like nuclear power – have been given over to those charged and obsessed with matters of defense. At the other end of the spectrum we have research done by the likes of NASA (and others) which has given us microwave ovens, cell phones and the like.

In an era of budget shortages, are we thinking about which budgets are getting cut? Check with whatever government you live under – like as not, the military budgets are being held unchecked and science and the arts are being undermined.

It’s one thing to be indignant about this. It’s another to speak out or do something about it.

We each do – or don’t do as we will. And that is our Eros/Athena internalization. Maybe it grows and changes over time and maybe it doesn’t.

Meanwhile, we keep thinking to tame agents of weaponry into something benign, which rather reminds me of my dad suggesting that a Tyrannosaur would have made a great pet. When I asked why he would think that, he grinned his most mischievous grin: because it would take itself out for a walk around the neighborhood while finding itself its own meal. 

Talented, sometimes charming, always energized but not exactly a person ever to be fully harnessed, my dad. A bit like a nuclear reactor…and sadly, one which also went awry and melted down.

If you know the old story ‘The Lady or the Tiger,’ this would seem to be an apt image of the day. In the story, the male protagonist is presented with two doors knowing behind one lies a beautiful woman and behind the other, a hungry tiger. Which door is which, he asks – and though you think you know what the wisdom (Athena) of the moment is and how your desires (Eros) are defined, with Sisyphus having just gone into retrograde, are you sure you know the cost of what you’re about to choose….or even more succinctly, perhaps what you’ve already chosen?

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